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Thread: Gracie tales, lies?

  1. #31



    Good points all around. We all have different motivations and desires for training. These are reflected in the diversity of the arts practised. I just taught a seminar for the JAA/Tomiki Aikido group here in the US. Interesting to see the different dynamics at work when Aikido is done with competitive rules in place. I am convinced competition/shiai provides the most value on a psychological level. At a technical level the rules of competition run the gamut from being just restrictive to downright counterproductive.

    A balanced training regimen that embraces theory (kata), practical application (henka waza) and psychochemical stress (kumite) has worked best for me and was the method embraced by my teacher Takamura Yukiyoshi. His methods raised many eyebrows in koryu circles when he first started teaching them.

  2. #32
    Kit LeBlanc Guest



    Thought so.

    Don't get me wrong, I see a lot of value in koryu. I just don't think that we should automatically accept that because any art was at one time a combative system that it remains effective training for same...since that is largely a function of what the present generation of caretakers do with it rather than what some warrior in the distant past did. I also don't think we should accept that because SOME people are good fighters within a tradition that everyone within the tradition will have the same capabilities...that it is ALL in the training and nothing is in what the student brings.

    Some seem to want to rest on the laurels of someone else's legacy without having to undergo the same rigor, pain and fear that made their forebears what they were.

    I also don't think that just because a system was "always trained this way" that it should necessarily always BE trained this way. I think that was what Kano was getting at. Dr. Friday and other scholars have written that what we accept today as how such things were trained is not necessarily how they actually WERE trained back in the day. It is simply how they have evolved and come to be trained TODAY.

    The reason I mentioned Kashima Shin-ryu is because it does seem to be one of the few (only?) traditions that publicly acknowledges the importance of the experience of the rigor, pain and fear I mentioned above through challenge matches. Certainly there may be other koryu that still do the same, but I'll bet in the majority of cases students and teachers are unwilling to do so. Hasn't Dr. Seki also removed taryu shiai as a requirement for advanced practitioners?

    Many talk and write about their tradition and it being for "battle," and comment on how arduous and dangerous their training is and how effective it makes them, but FEW seem to require that their exponents, at least at senior levels, PROVE their ability under pressure by seeking others out, challenging them to personal combat in taryu shiai (I agree, in this situation it would be far more stressful that competition and much closer to actual fighting) and demonstrating the superiority of their heiho. (Hmmmmmm, starting to sound like the Gracie approach, no?)

    Kunii sensei no doubt realized that other than engaging in actual physical combat, taryu shiai, moreso than any randori or (modern day)competition, is the best indicator of applied skill. Since it isn't like the really old days where the guys practicing kata all the time were going out and actually engaging in fighting and dueling on a regular basis, something has to take the place of that.

    In the absence of being able to do taryu shiai most people that practice fighting arts today have to rely on competitive randori and on competition, and/or get into a lot of street fights to accomplish something that is at least similar. It is not the same, but it is about as close as they can get.

    It is far easier to say that because X sensei beat a judoka, a ninja, and a wrestler 50-100 years ago, those of us practicing his same system today can therefore of course do the same.

    Well, 'nuff on this. It has been a fine discussion.

  3. #33
    Aaron Fields Guest


    I don't know about everyone else, but I practice because I enjoy it. The whole "combative" aspect is neither here nor there. An who can kick who's ass really dosen't matter since nobody needs to take anyone else's lunch.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Long Beach,CA
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    Great post Kit! :-)

  5. #35
    Join Date
    May 2000
    moving to Westerly R.I.
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    Default as the thread turns

    I like the way this thread has turned out very positive.
    I saw a MPEG video a while back on the net of the Emin/Cheung "fight" posted by one of Emin's supporters (supposedly) it looked a lot like a mugging. One guy surrounded in a gym by a whole lot of unfriendlies getting bum rushed. What I saw lasted no more than 20-30 seconds and looked nothing like any Wing chun that I have ever seen (admittedly very little other than movies). As to the authenticity if the footage I have no idea but it did show an older man getting beaten.
    Suck, Squeeze, Bang, Blow...
    ...that's what makes my thumper go

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